Across the country this weekend people will be celebrating. They’ll be attending cook outs, parties, or simply enjoying the extra day off. Also across the country this weekend the police will be on the lookout for drunk drivers.
Increased DWI enforcement isn’t unique to Labor Day weekend. In fact, it’s not unusual at all for police to heighten enforcement over nearly any extended weekend or holiday. Even Super Bowl weekend gets extra enforcement. But, police are reminding folks that they will be out in force this weekend and to watch out.
Minnesota State Patrol, along with local agencies, are working together to prevent accidents and injuries on the roadways this weekend. According to this article from the Northland News Center, one in seven drivers in Minnesota have a DWI on their record already, with more than 30,000 DWI arrests total every year.
Law enforcement and the public alike see Labor Day as the one last extended weekend of warm weather. This is the chance for last minute vacations and road trips, as well as barbeques and get togethers. The coordinator for Mesaba Safe Community Coalition states “Labor Day weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends on our roads.”
While drunk driving is very dangerous and against the law, most people who get behind the wheel after drinking truly believe they are okay to drive. And when as little as 3 drinks can put you over the legal limit, it’s easy to see why.
In Minnesota, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is .08%. Go over this on a breathalyzer test and you will be arrested. The problem with this is breathalyzers aren’t 100% accurate and infallible. As a matter of fact, they are prone to error.
If this is your first DWI charge, you are facing up to 90 days in jail and fines. Your license will likely be immediately suspended for a minimum of 90 days. As with most crimes, the penalties increase with the number of prior convictions on your record.
For multiple DWI offenders in Minnesota, you can even lose your car. Three or more convictions within ten years can lead to the state permanently taking your vehicle.